Lindsey Graham offers to ‘help’ Kerry deal with Boehner on Ukraine

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was caught Thursday on a live microphone offering to help the Obama administration pressure Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) into supporting the Senate’s aid legislation for Ukraine.  

According to multiple reports, Graham, who is facing a tough reelection race this year, was caught on a live microphone after a hearing telling Secretary of State John Kerry, “Let me know what I can do to help you with Boehner.”

Boehner and other conservatives are rejecting efforts to tie International Monetary Fund (IMF) reforms to legislation offering Ukraine $1 billion in loan guarantees. The IMF provisions were included in the Senate proposal on Ukraine that advanced Wednesday out of committee.

At the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Thursday, Graham said he would join a group of four other Republicans in voting for the Senate's Ukraine bill on the floor. He criticized other Republicans for getting in the way of a deal.

“The Congress needs to do some self-evaluation," he said.

The House has passed its own loan guarantee package that does not include the IMF language. Boehner on Thursday urged the Senate to pass the House's proposal before both chambers recess at the end of the week, which seems unlikely.  

“The House has acted on a loan guarantee package with strong bipartisan support. The Senate should pass this bill and send it to the president’s desk before leaving for the district work period,” Boehner told reporters.

“The IMF money has nothing to do with Ukraine. I understand the administration wants the IMF money, but it has nothing at all to do with Ukraine. So let’s just all understand what the facts are,” Boehner said.